How often do you get angry? Is it quite a lot? Will you be surprised if we told you that the excess of anger has been found to have negative impacts on your health?
Anger affects the brain and the overall mental health of an individual. While some might actually think that outbursts are good to channel your frustration out, it is not necessarily the best option in the long run.
By the end of this article, you will have a fair idea about how anger is ruining your health and what you can do to mitigate that in a healthy way.
How Anger Affects Your Health?
With the basics covered, it is time we delve into the complexities behind why and how anger affects your health for the worse.
Anger is a very powerful emotion and it is very important to handle it constructively to prevent any kind of destructive results altogether.
There are a number of ways in which anger is ruining your health, and it’s time we take a look at some of them.
1. Great Risk to Heart Health
You might not realize this but when it comes to discussing how anger affects your health, the predominant effect that it has is on heart health.
If experts are to be believed, they state that two hours following an anger outburst is the time frame when the risk of heart attack doubles in multiples.
Repressed anger has also been associated with the heightened risks of heart disease. Not just that, even in a conducted study (R), the researchers found that people who tend to get angry easily are twice at risk of developing coronary artery disease in comparison to the ones who don’t.
2. Hampers the Immune System
Our immune system is one of the most important parts of our body which ensures the best of impacts on our body.
Studies and researches have found that angry people are prone to have a hampered immune system. If the study conducted (R) by the Harvard researchers is to be considered, it suggests that even simply just recalling a past experience involving anger caused a significant reduction in the levels of the antibody Immunoglobulin A which plays a very crucial role in our immunity.
If you find yourself getting angry all the time, the best way to cope with the same is to come up with constructive ways to handle your anger rather than struggling and bursting out with something that has been bothering you.
3. Worsened Condition of Anxiety
Not just the physical health, the side effects of anger relays to the mental health complexities as well. If you get worried easily, you’d be surprised to know that anxiety and anger go hand in hand.
Even in a conducted study back in 2012, the researchers found that anger has the possibility of making the situation and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder even worse.
Not just that, people suffering from this condition have also been found to showcase signs and symptoms of uncontrollable worry and internalized hostility which is very bad for one’s health.
4. Increases Risks of Stroke
Coming to the next side effects of anger on health, it has been found to have negative impacts in enhancing the risks associated with stroke.
Someone who is very angry and is conducting an outburst, chances is that they are at risk of developing a stroke that could result fatal for their life. Brain strokes are very common in people following their anger outburst.
The risk further heightens for people who have an aneurysm in their brain. It is very important to ensure that you do avoid this if you are at risk of developing a further complication to your health.
In order to positively cope with the situation, is best suggested to identify what the trigger is and then work on it to get rid of the problem for good. Instead of bottling everything in, it is important that you distance yourself and find better constructive ways to handle the issue altogether.
5. Heightened Risks of Depression
Depression is a very rapidly growing problem, when you look into it like that. There have been multiple conducted studies which have linked depression with that of the anger outbursts. This problem has predominantly been witnessed in men.
This is believed to be a common problem, mainly because of the fact that it has connections with repressed anger. If you have repressed anger and something similar has been bothering you altogether, it is very important to ensure that you find constructive and effective ways to handle the signs of depression.
Instead of bottling things up, try and find a healthy outlet for your anger and the same can effectively help in managing the possible signs associated with depression.
6. Increased Stress Levels
Anger affects the brain and brain functions.
You won’t realize this but when you are angry, you are technically triggering the brain to facilitate the process of production of cortisol or the stress hormone in the body.
If you are wondering how or why, it is believed that the first spark of anger that one experiences end up activating the amygdala which is then responsible for triggering the hypothalamus.
The activated hypothalamus then goes on to trigger and activate the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then stimulates the adrenal glands by releasing the adenocorticotropic hormone.
Upon activation, the adrenal gland is what ends up releasing the stress hormone that majority of us often tend to struggle with.
The heightened levels of cortisol do have the potential to have adverse impacts on the balance of the other hormones altogether. Whatever the condition be, it is very important that you manage your cortisol levels for overall better health.
7. Impacts on Lung Function
Much like your heart, the anger you are building and project on someone else could very well impact your lungs and respiratory function as well.
In a conducted study by the researchers from Harvard University on 670 hostile men, it was found that they did have affected the impact on their lung functioning altogether. The research also did find that the men in the group who had the highest hostility rating were found to have worse lung capacity and function.
The lack of proper lung capacity does enhance the risks associated with the respiratory problems that many people often struggle with. The researchers did find that the same was the case because of the hormones that were released during an anger episode. The same did have the potential to end up causing harm to your breathing in the long run.
8. Reduced Life Span
Last but not the least when it comes to how anger affects your health is the fact that it has the potential of reducing your life span. The matter is still questionable and not something that does have a concrete scientific explanation behind the same but it has actually been found to have impacts on the overall life span of an individual.
The viable reason behind the same is believed to be the affected heart health and the impacts it has on the brain functioning of an individual.
Even a conducted study by researchers in Michigan for over 17 years found that couples who hold in their anger and grudges are at a heightened risk of having a shorter life span that people who don’t.
How to Handle Anger?
Now that we have brushed aside the side effects of anger and the kind of impacts it has on life, we are here to provide you with some tips that can come in handy when it comes to handling your own anger and the symptoms surrounding it.
Some of the ways to handle anger include:
- Know what is triggering the anger. If you know the reason behind what’s making you angry, it does become a lot easier for you to handle the situation and fight back the problem.
- Distance yourself from the spot. This is yet another one of the effective ways in which you can handle your anger. If you find that the environment and the people surrounding you are making your anger worse, instead of staying there, separate yourself from the situation.
- Have a healthy outlet for your anger. This is important for people who often tend to struggle with anger quite often. If you have a healthy outlet for your anger, it does become a lot easier for you to handle the situation and opt for ways to get over it by investing your time in something constructive.
- Breathing exercises work amazingly for controlling your anger. Taking deep breaths in and out can effectively help prevent the issues of anger that you are struggling with.
How anger affects your health does have a plethora of explanations behind the same. In order to avoid experiencing the disadvantages of anger on your health, it is very important that you find healthy ways to handle and manage the problem without any kind of negative impacts on your overall well being.